Foreign driving licences, exchanges and Visitor’s Driving Licences

On this page, you can learn more about when you are allowed to drive in Denmark with a foreign driving licence, when you must exchange the foreign driving licence for a Danish driving licence and how you apply for a Visitor’s Driving Licence.

If you have normal residence in Denmark
The rules regarding to what extent you must exchange your foreign driving licence for a Danish driving licence depends on (among other things) whether you have normal residence in Denmark.

For purposes of acquiring a driving licence, you have in principle normal residence in Denmark from the moment when you settle in Denmark with the intention to live in this country for at least 185 days because of personal or occupational ties.

At the assessment it may be given particular consideration whether you have established a long-term residence here in Denmark, whether your property and your closest relatives (for instance spouse and children) are in Denmark and whether you are staying in Denmark (not taking into account brief trips outside of Denmark in connection with for instance business, study or holidays).

If you are staying in this country solely with the purpose of carrying out a temporary occupation or as part of an educational course, and you do not have personal relations to Denmark, you will in principle not be considered as having normal residence in Denmark with respect to the issuing of a driving licence.

The same applies if you merely have occupational ties to Denmark and you have your personal ties in another country, which you regularly return to.

If you have a foreign driving licence and are staying temporarily in Denmark

If you do not have normal residence in Denmark, you may use your foreign driving licence in Denmark in the following cases:
  • The driving licence is issued by an EU or EEA country (Iceland, Norway and Lichtenstein).

  • The driving licence is from the Faroe Islands.

  • The driving licence is from Greenland.

  • It is a temporary driving licence issued in Finland, Iceland, Norway or Sweden.

  • It is a foreign driving licence (not issued in an EU or EEA country), issued in the Latin alphabet or accompanied by a translation in Danish, English or French. The translation must be produced by a public authority or by an organisation which has been authorised to produce it by the issuing country.

  • It is an international driving licence.

  • In Denmark, you are allowed to drive the same types of vehicles as you are according to your valid driving licence from the issuing country.

If you need a Visitor’s Driving Licence during your temporary stay in Denmark
If you do not have normal residence in Denmark and you do not possess the required driving licence, you can apply for a Visitor’s Driving Licence.

In order to apply for a Visitor’s Driving Licence, you must contact the local police station and bring documentation from your home country relating to your driving licence.


If you have a foreign driving licence and have normal residence in Denmark
If you have normal residence in Denmark, you must in some cases exchange your foreign driving licence for a Danish driving licence.

Whether you must exchange your foreign driving licence and whether you must complete a driving test (consisting of a theoretical and a practical part) prior to the exchange, depends on the country/constituent state which has issued your driving licence. Moreover, different rules apply as to how long you can wait until you must exchange your foreign driving licence for a Danish driving licence.

Driving licences issued in the Faroe Islands, in an EU country or an EEA country (Iceland, Norway and Lichtenstein)
An exchange is not required and you are allowed to drive the same types of vehicles in Denmark as you are according to your valid driving licence from the issuing country.

However, it is a condition that you must fulfil the age requirements which apply when issuing an equivalent Danish driving licence (certain exceptions apply to driving licences from EU and EEA countries).

Furthermore, since 19 January 2015 you must exchange your driving licence no later than two years after you have taken up normal residence in Denmark, if you are the holder of a valid national driving licence without the limited administrative validity period of 15 years for drivers of group 1 vehicles (categories A, A1, A2, B, B1 and B/E) or five years for drivers of group 2 vehicles (categories C, CE, C1, C1E, D, DE, D1 and D1E).

Moreover, validity periods for Faroese driving licences, which extend beyond the licencees 75th birthday for group 1 vehicles and 70th birthday for group 2 vehicles, are not accepted.

If you desire, you may apply for an exchange even if it is not required.
In principle, you are not required to complete a driving test in connection with the exchange.

Driving licences issued in Greenland
You are entitled to drive with your valid Greenlandic driving licence for a maximum of 90 days after having established normal residence in Denmark.

However, it is a condition that you must fulfil the age requirements which apply when issuing an equivalent Danish driving licence.

No later than 90 days after having established normal residence, you must exchange your Greenlandic driving licence for a Danish driving licence if you still wish to drive in Denmark.

In this connection, you are required to complete a driving test.


Driving licenses issued in other countries or driving licenses issued on the basis of such driving licenses 
How long you are allowed to drive with a foreign driving license and whether you need to take a driving test to verify your skills when exchanging your foreign driving license for a Danish one depend on which country/territory etc. has issued your driving license. There is a distinction between different groups of countries: Group 1, Group 2, and other countries.


Group 1 countries 
If your driving license was issued in the Australian Capital Territory, Brazil, Japan, Chinese Taipei (Taiwan), the Republic of Korea (South Korea), Russia, Ukraine or Switzerland, you are allowed to drive with your foreign driving license for 90 days from the day you establish residence in Denmark.

This only applies if your foreign driving license is valid. In addition, your driving license must be issued with Latin characters or accompanied by an official translation into Danish, English or French.

In addition, you must meet the age requirements that apply for being issued a corresponding Danish driving license.

When 90 days have passed since you established residence in Denmark, you must exchange your foreign driving license for a Danish driving license if you wish to continue to drive your car in Denmark.

When you apply, you must provide a written declaration on honour that your driving license has not been revoked within the last five years and also that your right to drive has not been restricted or made conditional in any way.

As a rule, you do not need to take a driving test to verify your skills when you exchange your foreign driving license for a Danish driving license if your driving license was issued in one of the relevant countries.

The Group 1 scheme is described in the administrative order on exchanging foreign driving licenses for Danish driving licenses without a driving test.  (Danish only).


Group 2 countries 
If your driving license was issued in a country/territory where the drivers' training is not completely equivalent to the Danish practice in this area but where the general level of road safety is comparable with the Danish level, you have the possibility of exchanging your driving license for a Danish driving license without having to take a driving test to verify your skills if the country in question is included in this scheme (the Group 2 scheme).

Participation in the scheme takes place on the basis of an application from the specific country/territory.

The country/territory (possibly an embassy/consulate) must apply to be included in the Group 2 scheme. In order to apply, the country/territory must use a special application form where information can be provided about the road safety conditions in the particular country/territory.

The Danish Road Safety Agency determines whether the country/territory can participate in the Group 2 scheme.

If your driving license was issued in a country/territory which is included in Group 2, you can drive with your foreign driving license for 90 days from the day you establish residence in Denmark.

When 90 days have passed since you established residence in Denmark, you must exchange your foreign driving license for a Danish driving license if you wish to continue to drive your car in Denmark.

In order to exchange your foreign driving license for a Danish driving license, when submitting your application, you must additionally provide a written declaration on honour stating that you have had and have used your driving license for category B driving (regular car) within the last two years and also provide a written declaration on honour stating that you have not had your driving license revoked within the last five years and that your right to drive has not been restricted or made conditional in any way.

As of 1 November 2014 Singapore - as the first country - was included in the Group 2 scheme.

As of 1 April 2016 the USA, Canada, Australia, Chile, Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Isle of Man were also included in the Group 2 scheme.

As of 12 October 2016 Serbia was included in the Group 2 scheme.

If you cannot find the relevant country/territory in the administrative order on exchanging foreign driving licenses for a Danish driving license without having to take a driving test, you can contact the country/territory in question (possibly the embassy/consulate) in order to find out more about whether they have applied to be included in the Group 2 scheme.


 Group 1 countries
Group 2 countries
 The Australian Capital Territory
Singapore
 Brazil  USA
 Japan  Canada
 Chinese Taipei (Taiwan)
 Australia (other than the ACT)
 The Republic of Korea (South Korea)
 Chile
 Russia  Bosnia-Herzegovina
 Ukraine  Isle of Man
 Switzerland  Serbia


The Group 2 scheme is described in administrative order on exchanging foreign driving licenses for Danish driving licenses without a driving test.  (Danish only)


General information about the administrative order on exchanging foreign driving licenses no. 203 of 04/03/2016

Cancelling an application
An application for exchanging a driving license submitted prior to 1 April 2016 can always be cancelled. You can subsequently re-apply and the new application will thus be processed according to the new administrative order on exchanging driving licenses. 


Exchanging driving licenses with multiple categories

Foreign driving licenses issued in either a Group 1 or Group 2 country can only be exchanged for a category B Danish driving license without a having to take a driving test. 

If you have a driving license that covers additional categories such as category A or C and you wish to have these exchanged, as a rule you must take a driving test to verify your skills in category B. You will then have the driving licenses in the categories that you have previously achieved automatically exchanged for Danish driving licenses in these categories.

Deadline for exchanging your license
A specific deadline for exchanging your categories has not been set. For example, if after a year you regret not having had your category A license exchanged for a Danish equivalent, then you must take a driving test for category B. 

Written declarations
Declarations ready to be signed are available at the municipal citizen centres.


Other countries 
If your driving license was issued in a country other than the countries listed above, you have a right to drive with your foreign driving license for up to 90 days from when you establish residence in Denmark.

This only applies though if your foreign driving license is valid and if the driving license is issued with Latin characters or is accompanied by an official translation into Danish, English or French.

In addition, you must meet the age requirement that applies for being issued a corresponding Danish driving license.

No later than 90 days after establishing residence in Denmark, you must have exchanged your foreign driving license for a Danish driving license if you wish to continue driving in Denmark.

In order to be able to exchange your foreign driving licence for a Danish driving license, you must pass a driving test (a theoretical and a practical test). 

Find out more about how to apply to exchange a driving license.
Sidst opdateret: 13.06.2017